B.A. University of London, 1948; Ph.D., 1954.
Lecturer in Classics, University of Hull, 1948-55; prof., University of Cape Town, 1955-57; asso. prof. University of Manitoba, 1957-60; asso. prof. to prof., University College, University of Toronto, 1960-65, prof. Greek & Latin, Harvard, 1965-73; chair Classics Dept., 1971-72; prof. Latin & Chair of Classics Dept., University College, University of London, 1973-78; prof. Classics, Yale, 1978-92; chair, Classics Dept., 1984-87; ed. HSCP, 1966-71; Guggenheim fellow, 1971; gen. editor, Loeb Classical Library, 1974- , Bonsall Visiting Professor of Humanities, Stanford, 1978; Gray Lecturer, Cambridge (UK), 1987; pres. APA, 1986; corresponding fellow, British Academy, 1994.
"M. Manilii Astronomicon Liber Primus: A Commentary on the First Book of Manilius to Which Is Added a Translation of the Whole Poem" (University of London, 1954).
“A Transposition in Statius,” CR n.s. 1 (1951) 71-73; “De fonte codicum Manilianorum” RhM 97 (1954) 359-72; “Observationes in codicem Matritensem M.31,” RhM 99 (1956) 9-17; Preliminary Investigations into the Cretan Linear A Script. A Report Submitted to the Linear B Seminar of the University of London, with M. Pope (London: International University Booksellers, 1956); “A New Text of Catullus,” Phoenix 12 (1958) 93-116; “A Lost Manuscript of Lucretius,” AClass 1 (1958) 21-30; “Adversaria Maniliana,” Phoenix 13 (1959) 93-112; “First Thoughts on the Dyscolus,” Phoenix 13 (1959) 139-60; “Perseus and Andromeda. A Myth from the Skies,” PACA 2 (1959) 10-15; “The Decipherment of the Cretan Scripts,” Proceedings of the Linguistics Circle of Manitoba & North Dakota 1,1 (1959) 19-21; “Homer and the Alphabet,” TAPA 91 (1960) 272-91; “A Greek Professorial Circle at Rome,” TAPA 92 (1961) 168-192; Epistola ad Iohannem Millium by Richard Bentley reprinted from the edition of A. Dyce together with an introduction by Goold (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962) REVS: Manuscripta VIII 1964 115-116 Wittmann | JHS LXXXIV 1964 172 Clarke | CP LX 1965 46 Minn; “Richard Bentley. A Tercentenary Commemoration,” HSCP 67 (1963) 285-302; “Amatoria critica,” HSCP 69 (1965) 1-107; “Noctes Propertianae,” HSCP 71 (1966) 59-106; “Catullus 3,16,” Phoenix 23 (1969) 186-203; “Servius and the Helen Episode,” HSCP 74 (1970) 101-68; “O patrona virgo,” in Polis and Imperium. Studies in Honour of Edward Togo Salmon, ed. J.A.S. Evans (Toronto: Hakkert, 1974) 253-64; Interpreting Catullus. An Inaugural Lecture Delivered at University College London, 7 November 1973 (London: Lewis, 1974); Manilius. Astronomica (ed. & trans.) LCL 469 (Cambridge : Harvard Univ. Pr. ; London : Heinemann, 1977) REVS: Helmantica XXIX 1978 410 Oroz | LEC XLVI 1978 270 ; RPh LIII 1979 173 André ; CPh LXXIV 1979 158-169 Shackleton Bailey ; RPBh LVII 1979 1044 Desbordes ; Latomus XXXIX 1980 513 Le Bœuffle ; Phoenix XXXIV 1980 263-266 Pingree ; CJ LXXVI 1980 170-173 Briggs ; Gnomon LII 1980 11-15 Hübner ; AAHG XXXIII 1980 109 Bühler; “The Nature of Homeric Composition,” ICS 2 (1977) 1-34; “Two Notes on Catullus 1,” LCM 6 (1981) 233-38; Catullus, ed. with introd., transl. & notes by Goold (London: Duckworth, 1983) REVS: TLS LXXXII 1983 1120 Wells ; CW LXXVII 1984 375-376 Skinner ; G&R XXXI 1984 86 Robertson ; CB LXII 1986 49-50 Hebein; “The Cause of Ovid's Exile,” ICS 8 (1983) 94-107; “The Great Lacuna in Manilius,” PACA 17 (1983) 64-68; Manilius. Astronomica (ed.) Bibl. script. Graec. et Rom. Teubneriana (Leipzig: Teubner, 1985) REVS: Platon XXXVIII 1986 217-219 Sakellariou | Euphrosyne XV 1987 454 Rosado Fernandes | Gnomon LIX 1987 21-32 Huebner | Athenaeum LXV 1987 290-291 Frassinetti | RPh LXI 1987 139-140 Le Bœuffle | REL LXV 1987 308-309 Le Boeuffle | WS CII 1989 298 Harrauer | AC LVIII 1989 346-348 Knecht | Latomus XLVIII 1989 437-441 Flores | REL 71 1993 265-266 J. Soubiran; “The Removal of the Arms in the Odyssey,” in Studies in Honour of T. B. L. Webster, I, ed. J.H. Betts, J.T. Hooker & J.R. Green (Bristol: Bristol Classical Press, 1986) 122-29; “A Skullcracker in Virgil,” in Classica et Mediaevalia: Studies in Honor of Joseph Szovérffy, ed. Irene Vaslef & Helmut Buschhausen (Washington & Leyden: Classical Folia Editions, 1986) 67-76; Sämtliche Gedichte (ed.) new trans. Carl Fischer; rev. Bernhard Kytzler (Munich: Deutsch Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1987); Catullus, Tibullus, Pervigilium Veneris (Catullus, trans. F.W. Cornish; Tibullus, trans. J.P. Postgate; Pervigilium Veneris, trans. J.W. Mackail; 2nd ed. rev. by Goold, LCL 6 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: Heinemann, 1988) REVS: CW LXXXIV 1990-1991 256 Block | NECN 18 (3) 1990-1991 42 M. Roberts; Ovid. Tristia, Ex Ponto, trans. A.L. Wheeler; 2nd ed., rev. by Goold, LCL 151 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: Heinemann, 1988); “On Editing Propertius,” in Vir Bonus Discendi Peritus. Studies in Celebration of Otto Skutsch's Eightieth Birthday ed. Nicholas Horsfall (London: Institute of Classical Studies, 1988) 27-38; “Problems in Editing Propertius,” in Editing Greek and Latin Texts. Papers Given at the Twenty-Third Annual Conference on Editorial Problems, University of Toronto, 6-7 November 1987, ed. John N. Grant (New York: AMS Press, 1989) 97-119; Propertius. Elegies (ed. & trans.) LCL 18 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990; rev. ed., 1999) REVS: CW LXXXV 1991-1992 267 Gries | CO LXIX 1991-1992 113 Sullivan | Phoenix XLVI 1992 273-276 Butrica | MH XLIX 1992 263 J. Delz | Gnomon 65 (5) 1993 454 D. R. Shackleton Bailey | NECN 19 (2) 1991-1992 43-44 T. Suits | Habis 1991 22 : 450-453 Jaén Antonio Ramírez de Verger; “Paralipomena Propertiana,” HSCP 94 (1992) 287-320; “The Voice of Virgil: The Pageant of Rome in Aeneid 6,” in Author and Audience in Latin Literature, ed. Tony Woodman & Jonathan Powell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992) 110-123 Callirhoe / Chariton (ed. and trans.) LCL 481 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995) REVS: AC 1997 66 : 421-422 Daniel Donnet ; BMCRev 1996 7 (3) : 193-196 Richard Hunter ; CO 1995-1996 73 (4) : 140-141 Gareth L. Schmeling ; EMC 1996 40 (3) : 462-464 Gerald N. Sandy ; IJCT 1996-1997 3 (1) : 244-246 Niklas Holzberg ; Mnemosyne 1997 Ser. 4 50 (1) : 107-111 Simon R. Slings ; REG 1997 110 (2) : 677 Laurent Pernot ; CR 1998 N. S. 48 (1) : 186 John R. Morgan ; NECN 1997-1998 25 (1) : 24-26 James Tatum ; Myrtia 2002 17 : 407-409 Manuel Sanz Morales; M. Manilii Astronomica (ed.), corrected edition, Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana (Stuttgart: Teubner, 1998) REVS: Argos 1998 22 : 184-187 Martín Pozzi; “A Paraclausithyron from Pompeii,” in Style and Tradition: Studies in Honor of Wendell Clausen ed. Peter E. Knox and Clive Foss (Stuttgart: Teubner, 1998) 16-29; Virgil. Eclogues. Georgics. Aeneid I-VI, ed. & trans. H.R. Fairclough; revised with new introduction by Goold, LCL 63 (Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 1999) REVS: LEC 2000 68 (2-3) : 259-260 Pierre-Jacques Dehon ; AJPh 2001 122 (2) : 287-291 William W. De Grummond ; AC 2002 71 : 321 Pol Tordeur ; NECJ 2002 29 (2) : 111-113 Robert V. Albis; Virgil. Aeneid VII-XII. Appendix Vergiliana, ed. & trans. H.R. Fairclough; revised by Goold, LCL 64 (Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2000) REVS: AC 2002 71 : 321 Pol Tordeur | LEC 2001 69 (3) : 351 Pierre-Jacques Dehon | NECJ 2002 29 (2) : 111-113 Robert V. Albis; “Hypermeter and Elision in Virgil,” in “Vertis in usum”: Studies in Honor of Edward Courtney, ed. John F. Miller, Cynthia Damon, & K. Sara Myers (Munich: Saur, 2002) 76-89.
George Goold was at heart a textual critic. The substantial articles he published, amounting to virtual monographs, for instance on Ovid's amatory works, on Propertius, and on Servius and the Aeneid, remain beacons of insight and enlightenment decades later. A keen student of the manuscripts, yet not a slave to them, he produced long series of textual improvements, of which perhaps the largest in scale was the demonstration that the twenty-three verses of the Helen episode, preserved only in some Servian manuscripts, were spurious and ought to be ejected from the text. These, along with other publications, were the fruits of his years at Harvard, where his work reached its apogee.
The metaphor is especially fitting, for he himself regarded as his crowning service to classics the study of the astrological poet Manilius, an interest which extended throughout his career, from his doctoral dissertation to a revised edition of his text for the Teubner series, and which included the precious Loeb volume, which first revealed to hundreds of readers the precise meaning and bearing and beauty of the somewhat obscure verse treatise. The current vitality of Manilian studies can be traced back inter alia to Goold's pioneering work.
Nearly all his scholarship was directed towards the elucidation of Latin poetic texts. For the Loeb Classical Library, he created or revised ten volumes besides the Manilius. In all his work he applied strong common sense to editorial decisions, about the most suitable form of the apparatus criticus for instance, and was always concerned about the presentation of material on the page: in this, simplicity and clarity were his lodestars.
Disapproving of any split between Greek and Latin, as he made clear in his inaugural lecture at University College London—where he was a successor, at several removes, to Housman—he also gave attention to Greek subjects. His address upon assuming the presidency of the American Philological Association concerned the original form of the Iliad. During his long and invigorating editorship of the Loeb Classical Library, he took it upon himself to add to that series an edition of Chariton's romance.
The orientation of classical studies towards textual criticism rather went out of fashion during the course of his career. Although Goold directed a number of dissertations in that field during eight years at Harvard, at Yale, where he taught for the last fifteen years of his career, he directed only one such. Given his focus on textual criticism, it might appear surprising to some that he was one of the first to embrace the application of the computer to classical studies. And yet, even in the age of printing, books remained so close to sacred for him that he hardly ever wrote in the margins of any.
When I congratulated him once on an emendation in Catullus, he refused to take much credit, claiming that the proposal was Bergk's, to which he had merely “added the schmalz.” Despite the homely self-description, Goold was in fact a superb stylist and rhetorician. A classicist who was not a particular admirer once remarked that ”he could deliver a lecture about buttons and bows in the ancient world and hold the audience spellbound.” No one who has read the opening paragraphs of the essay on Servius is likely to forget their riveting clarity and sweep, not to mention the entirely natural-seeming deployment of the word “anfractuousness.” He was so much at home in Latin that he could speak it comfortably, and a couple of his earliest publications were written in that language. His translations into English were enviably vigorous, nor was he less brilliant a stylist in Latin than in his native language, with the result that those fortunate enough to have studied Latin composition under him treasure with equal warmth his versions of the death of Cicero (from Livy, Book 120) and of the concluding paragraph of John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage.
In addition to all else, George was exceptionally conscious of responsibilities towards colleagues. Whether you were a former student submitting to his judgment the draft of a book or someone making his acquaintance with an article you had just published, you always got an acknowledgment without delay, and your work received, along with due criticism, unstinted praise of its strong points.
It may, then, justifiably be said of him, as of another intellectual, scholar, and stylist, vir magnus ac memorabilis fuit, et in cuius laudes exsequendas ipso laudatore opus fuerit.
NYTimes (24 January 2002); Times (London) (27 December 2001) 21; Yale Bulletin & Calendar 30, 15 (18 January 2002); DAS 8.3.197.
AUTHORJoseph B. Solodow